“I am a slow walker, but I never walk back,” Abraham Lincoln. I saw this randomly after completing the piece about asking directions and I felt it was appropriate. In this life we are constantly being brought up to make quick decisions. We are connected all the time and the world moves 24/7. It goes against everything in us to slow down and consider what our next step is. We take the leap and much of the time we will land just fine. We will be able to make a decision (or another leap) from that point and we continue doing that, always forced to maintain momentum.
There’s another way. Taking the time to calculate what the goal is and weigh what our actions can yield often reaps greater rewards. I’m not saying there isn’t a time to take the leap and just go for it—I preach it ALL the time. But I am saying even that leap needs to be intentional. Wildly jumping in the air flapping your arms doesn’t mean you will fly. Sometimes you have to climb to the top of the mountain to catch the right wind to soar.
Being intentional means that you let the extraneous go. The noise, the opinions, the fears, the “shoulds”—you drop all of it. It’s unnecessary baggage and all of that comes from the outside anyway. It’s all distraction. Intentional also means you make the choice and you stick with it. Granted you will need to pivot along the way—that is just life—but you stay the path. You make your decision because you know it to be valid and true and you keep that course. Sometimes you need to check your inner map and that means consulting what you know is true inside. You don’t seek outside interference from people who aren’t going where you are.
The last point of this is essentially no regrets. Not only do we stick with our choices, we don’t lament them. Honestly, there is no need to if you’re able to live those choices with integrity and pivot as needed. When we talk about staying the course, it isn’t about a stubborn will to make what you want happen. It’s about knowing the path you want to take and sticking with it through all the curves and bends. It’s learning how to navigate the twists rather than bulldozing a straight line through territory you’re not meant to go. If you are able to do that, there will be no desire to look back. You won’t need to retrace your steps because you will end up exactly where you need to be. So break the patterns and go slow. Evaluate your next step and plan so the leaps will take you as far as you need to go. Then go for it.